Congress Allocated $100M to Address the Western Drought
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Estevan López released plans February 8 to spend an additional $23M this year to support water reuse and efficiency, including $9M for the Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, $9M for WaterSMART Grants, and $5M to support water recycling as part of California’s Central Valley Project. Reclamation also plans to invest $2M in research and development.
Under the fiscal year 2016 omnibus appropriations legislation, Reclamation received an additional $100M to address the ongoing Western drought. The WateReuse Association joined seven other water sectors groups last month in urging the Bureau of Reclamation to use a portion of newly received drought response funds to invest in water reuse activities.
“We are so pleased that the Bureau of Reclamation continues to see water reuse, conservation, and efficiency as priorities,” said WateReuse Association Executive Director Melissa L. Meeker. “We applaud their ongoing support of sustainable systems.”
Last month’s letter to the Bureau of Reclamation urging that a portion of the drought response funds be invested in water reuse was signed by the WateReuse Association, National Association Clean Water Agencies (NACWA), American Public Works Association (APWA), National Association of Water Companies (NAWC), Water Environment Federation (WEF), Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies (AMWA), American Water Works Association (AWWA), and Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA).
The $100M provided for western drought response will address a number of projects affected by drought:
- Central Valley Project, which includes funding for the American River Division, Delta Division, Friant Division, Shasta Division and other programs, California ($37.9M);
- WaterSMART Grants, Title XVI Water Reclamation and Reuse Program, Drought Response and Comprehensive Drought Planning, and Cooperative Watershed Management Program ($22.6M);
- Lower Colorado River Basin Drought Response Action Plan, California, Arizona and Nevada ($11.5M);
- Native American Technical Assistance Program ($6M);
- Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, Washington ($9M);
- Lewiston Orchards Project, Idaho ($1M);
- Research and Development Program ($2M);
- Rogue River Basin Project, Oregon ($2M);
- Salton Sea Research Project, California ($3M);
- Colorado River Basin System Conservation Pilot Program in the upper and lower basins, Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming ($5M).
The WateReuse Association is a nonprofit coalition of utilities, government agencies and industry that advocates for laws, policies and funding to promote water reuse.